This is a list of Canadian Rock Classics…unfortunately most of the Chart Lists are gone, CHUM Radio would issue their CHUM Charts but inconveniently lost or decided not to include them when they revamped their site.

The old CHUM Charts were the Canadian version of the US Billboard Chart.

Most of these groups and artists hail from the 60’s and 70’s ( however, this list may be expanded to include other decades ) and may contain anecdotes, mostly from my own recollections…however the year they charted and how high they charted simply isn’t possible without access to the old CHUM Charts.

Canadian Rock Classics

A Passing Fancy – I Believe in Sunshine

The Ugly Ducklings – Gaslight

Bobby Curtola – Fortuneteller – had a string of popular hits

Chad Allan & The Expressions – Shakin’ All Over – later this group turned into the Guess Who

Lords of London – Cornflakes and Ice Cream

The Guess Who – American Woman – Randy Bachman went on to form Bachman Turner Overdrive

Staccatos – Half Part Midnight – This Les Emerson group was the one that turned into the Five Man Electrical Band

Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care Of Business

Five Man Electrical Band – Signs

Les Emmerson – Control Of Me

Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks – Bo Diddley – John Lennon spent some time on his ranch in Ontario

The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – After leaving Ronnie in 63′ they called themselves the Canadian Esquires, Levon & The Hawks, and then The Crackers before settling on The Band

Jack London & The Sparrows – If You Don’t Want My Love – This was the group that spanned Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild

Mars Bonfire – Here Nor There – John’s ( John Kay of Steppenwolf ) brother Dennis went by the name Mars Bonfire

David Clayton Thomas and the Bossmen – Brainwashed – was also with the Shaws, went on to Blood, Sweat & Tears…this song was bleeped by David Clayton Thomas himself because he knew the word ‘ damn ‘ wouldn’t get past the CRTC

Blood, Sweat & Tears – And When I Die

Mandala – Love-Itis

Paupers – Never Send You Flowers – Skip Prokop left this moderately successful group to form Lighthouse

Lighthouse – Sunny Days – Lighthouse was the first band to have a record certified platinum: Lighthouse Live

Fludd – Cousin Mary – Their members included Jim Crichton who formed Saga, Doni Underhill of Trooper, and Greg Godovitz of Goddo

Valdy – Play Me A Rock ‘n’ Roll Song

Bruce Cockburn – Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Up Where We Belong – Her music was officially suppressed during the USA’s Lyndon Johnson years for being subversive, she also wrote songs for Elvis, Donovan, Barbara Streisand, and Cher. Another hit for her was He’s An Indian Cowboy In The Rodeo

Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi

Andy Kim – Baby I love you – Andy Kim also attempted a comeback in the 80’s as Baron Longfellow, and wrote the song Sugar Sugar by the Archies

Leonard Cohen Hallelujah – He was the first ( yes even before Dylan ) to merge poetry and music

The Irish Rovers – The Unicorn Song

Murray McLauchlan – No Time Together Today

The Mugwumps – Everybody’s Been Talkin’ – This Canadian group included the American Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas

The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe in Magic – was co-founded by Zalman “Zal” Yanovsky ( lead guitarist and a lead vocalist ) who was Canadian

The Stampeders – Devil You

Poppy Family – Which Way You Goin’ Billy – Terry Jacks married Susan Pesklevits, and together they formed The Poppy Family

Terry Jacks – Concrete Sea

Mashmakhan – As The Years Go By – Jerry Mercer and Brian Greenway of April Wine were members of this group

April Wine – Sign of the Gypsy Queen – Although they had great success with this song it was actually a cover of the original by Lorence Hud

Rush – Tom Sawyer – the group formed in Toronto in 1969

Triumph – Lay It On The Line

Max Webster – Battle Scar – Max Webster included Kim Mitchell & Terry Watkinson…the group broke up while on the verge of superstar success

Kim Mitchell – Go For Soda

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider – Big League – This group started out just as Red Rider

StreetHeart – What Kind of Love is This?

Trooper – Raise a Little Hell – Canada’s first group to have a record certified quadruple platinum

Sweeney Todd – Roxy Roller – This group broke the charts with 3 different lead singers…Nick Gilder, Perry Clark, and a 16 year old Bryan Adams

Chilliwack – Watcha Gonna Do – Was formed from The Collectors

Neil Young – Heart of Gold – Neil Young started with The Squires, then The Mynah Byrds, went on to Buffalo Springfield, then with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Crowbar – Oh What A Feeling

The Gainsborough Gallery – Life is a Song

Ginette Reno – Beautiful Second Hand Man

Gordon Lightfoot – Black Day In July

Quiet Jungle – Ship Of Dreams

The Last Words – I Symbolize You

Edward Bear – Masquerade

A Foot In Coldwater – (Make Me Do) Anything You Want

Doctor Music – Sun Goes By

Abraham’s Children – Gypsy

Ken Tobias – I Just Want To Make Music

Skylark – Wildflower

Peter Foldy – Bondi Junction

Michael Tarry – Rosalie

Charity Brown – You Beat Me To The Punch – was the lead singer for Rain

Rain – Out Of My Mind

Dave Nicol – Goodbye Mama

Barenaked Ladies – One Week

Ian & Sylvia – Lovin’ Sound

The Bells – Stay Awhile

Blue Rodeo – Five Days In May

Crash Test Dummies – Superman’s Song

Copperpenny – Sitting On A Poor Man’s Throne

DeFranco Family – Heartbeat, It’s A Lovebeat

Doug & The Slugs – Makin’ It Work

The DownChild BluesBand – Flip-Flop & Fly

Glass Tiger – Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone

Great Big Sea – Ordinary Day

Harlequin – I did it for love

Helix – Rock You

Honeymoon Suite – Burning In Love

Jeff Healey – As The Years Passing By

Kensington Market – I Would Be The One

Loverboy – Turn Me Loose

Martha And The Muffins – Echo Beach

The Tragically Hip – New Orleans is Sinking

Sum 41 – With Me

Stonebolt – I Will Still Love You

Steel River – Ten Pound Note

Sheriff – When I’m With You

Rough Trade – High School Confidential – was one of the first explicitly lesbian-themed Top 40 hits in the world

Prism – Spaceship Superstar

Parachute Club – Rise Up

Ocean – Put your hand in the hand

Our Lady Peace – Somewhere Out There

Jackson Hawke – You Can’t Dance – England Dan and John Ford Coley’s cover of this original became an International hit

The Original Caste – One Tin Soldier – popularized by the Billy Jack movies

Octavian – Good Feeling (To Know)

Bond – Dancin’ (On A Saturday Night) – the original was done by Barry Blue

Joey Gregorash – Jodie

Bob McBride – Pretty City Lady – was the voice of Lighthouse during their hit years

Vanity 6 – Nasty Girl – the lead singer ( Denise Katrina Matthews aka Vanity ) is Canadian

Ian Thomas – Painted Ladies – he is younger brother to comedian and actor Dave Thomas

Pagliaro – Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy

Anne Murray – Snowbird

Long John Baldry  –   Let The Heartaches Begin – lived in Canada from 1970 till his death…Mick Jagger, Elton  John ( who took the John from Baldry ), and Rod Stewart, among others played in his band at one time or another

Sarah McLachlan – Angel

The Tea Party – Heaven Coming Down

Luba – Everytime I See Your Picture

Kathryn Dawn Lang – Constant Craving

Nick Gilder – Hot Child in the City – born in England he was raised in Vancouver

Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers – Does Your Mama Know About Me – Tommy Chong was a member of this group before he became famous as a comedian

Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69

Keith Hampshire – Big Time Operator

Southcote – She

Gary & Dave – Could You Ever Love Me Again

Lisle – Shelly Made Me Smile

Shawne Jackson – Just As Bad As You – probably the only Canadian artist issued on a Playboy label

The Hood – Cause We’re In Love – a cover written and recorded by the Canadian group The Beau Marks

The Beau-Marks – Cause We’re In Love

Shooter – I Can Dance (Long Tall Glasses) – originally known as  The Greaseball Boogie Band

Major Hoople’s Boarding House – I’m Running After You

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the 100’s of groups/artists that came out of Canada…or were fronted by a Canadian…not even all the most popular ones are listed…but this list does cover the diversity of talent that made and still makes Canada a rock and pop resource pool to be reckoned with.

Some of these groups and artists had several hits but I’ve opted to just post one song from each, and not necessarily their most popular song…

and, as always, the links go to the song we posted on Blip and availability is determined by Blip.

If you have a favorite Canadian group or artist not mentioned here please leave a comment.

118 groups or artists are presently listed.

You might want to check out our one-hit wonder collection lists:

One-Hit Wonders: Popular and Rare

One-Hit Wonders of the 60’s: Popular and Rare

Top Twenty One-Hit Wonders in the UK: 1960-1999

Top Ten One-Hit Wonders of the 90’s

Top Ten One-Hit Wonders of the 80’s

Top Ten One-Hit Wonders of the 70’s

Top Ten One-Hit Wonders of the 60’s

also our number-one hit collections:

Number One Hits in the UK: 1960s

Number One Hits in the UK: 1970s

Number One Hits in the UK: 1980s

Number One Hits in the UK: 1990s

also our hit collections:

100 Greatest Rock Classics: 1960-1999

Rock Classics: Remembering the Classics…songs that never made our other lists

Rock Classics: Remembering the Classics…songs that never made our other lists : Part Two

Rock Classics: that almost never get played anymore

Rock Classics: that almost never get played anymore: Part Two

Rock Classics: that almost never get played anymore: Part Three

Weird and Wacky Rock Classics: sometimes NSFW

By admin

Former Freehand Freelance Graphic Illustrator... been online since 2004 ( late starter ), blogging since 2005, presently writing a suspense-thriller e-book that began as a screenplay.

4 thoughts on “Canadian Rock Classics”
  1. Hiya Djfunkysounds! Good to see ya!

    The 70’s Steel Breeze was actually an American band from Sacramento, California…and the 80’s group Big Country was actually from Scotland…unless you’re thinking about 2 different groups with possibly the same name.

    But there are several Canadian artists/groups not listed, as I wasn’t trying to be all-inclusive, I just concentrated primarily on the main ones that had a profound affect on the Canadian music industry. Canada churned out 100’s of artists/groups, for instance Paul Anka isn’t listed even though he was huge in Canada and the US but he really didn’t do much in way of influencing the scene. 😉


  2. Nice list. A lot of my faves here. There was a Canadian Band called Steel Breeze that had some cool songs. (You don’t want me any more) is one title I remember. I also did not see Big Country on the list, I believe they were Canadian.

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